-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: Reporter Query, Birdwell Fundraiser
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 16:53:20 -0500
From: Maggie Mayfield
To: Gardner Selby <wgselby@statesman.com>


Hey Gardner,

Thanks for speaking with me earlier. Sorry today was so hectic. Senator
Birdwell has events across the district today, but we are happy to
provide the following statement from the senator concerning your
question about last week's event:


"Due to a frivolous lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party, we have
significant legal bills, and I'm thankful that Lt. Governor Dewhurst
hosted an event for me last week. I'm also happy to have the support of
groups in Austin who didn't originally back my candidacy, but anyone who
paid attention to our campaign knows that I was elected with the support
of voters in SD 22 who share my belief in fiscal responsibility and less
government. My priority is to move ahead on the conservative agenda of
those who elected me, and I welcome the support of those who wish to
join us in promoting that agenda. We are having a number of fundraising
events coming up across the district, including one in Waco tonight with
Lt. Gov. Dewhurst.

With regard to our personal campaign loans, Mel and I have no
expectation of recouping those loans anytime soon."


Senator Brian Birdwell


Thank you,
Maggie


Maggie Mayfield
Managing Director
Spaeth Communications, Inc.

www.spaethcom.com

10:16 am Sept. 22, 2010:


Sen. Birdwell is not available for an interview. If you want to email your questions, we’ll do our best to get you a response.

3:43 pm Sept. 22, 2010

...

 

Here are a few answers to your questions.

 

Thank you,

Maggie

 

Is he raising money for his campaign kitty or for another purpose?  If it's for another purpose, what is it and where is the fund accounted for at the Texas Ethics Commission?

 

He has only one campaign account, and he is raising money for that campaign account and for no other purpose.  As his original statement mentioned, there are significant legal bills as well as campaign expenses.  

 

 

Is he not applying any donations to pay down the $170,773 he spent with the intent of seeking post-election donations?  If so, which kind or which ones?

 

None of the funds being raised now are being used to pay back his personal loans.  Funds being raised now will go to help pay legal bills and provide for ongoing campaign and officeholder expenses.  If Sen. Birdwell does ever reimburse his personal campaign loans, they will be reported at that time.  Again, he does not have any expectation of recouping those loans anytime soon. 


 

Thank you,

Maggie

 3:26 pm Sept. 23, 2010:

...concerning your question on the loans:

 

All the monies that Sen. Birdwell has spent on behalf of the campaign are listed as Schedule G expenditures, which are personal funds used for political purposes for which reimbursement is intended.  I am told by the individual who handles our filing that there are two ways to report loans as provided by the Commission's rules and reporting tips.  We chose the method preferred by the Texas Ethics Commission (see below).

Reporting Expenses From Personal Funds

Spending your own money on your campaign?  Avoid common reporting errors!   If you intend to seek reimbursement of any amount from political contributions for a political expenditure made from your personal funds, report the expenditure in one of two ways.  We recommend method #1.  Keep in mind that this reporting system is not an accounting system and duplication of expenditures is not uncommon when reporting transactions related to expenditures made from personal funds.

Method #1:  Itemize the expenditure on the “Political Expenditures Made From Personal Funds” schedule (Schedule G) and check the box to indicate that you intend to seek reimbursement from political contributions. (You may not correct a report to allow reimbursement without subjecting yourself to a possible penalty.)  When you reimburse yourself, which could be months or years later, report the reimbursement on the “Political Expenditures” schedule (Schedule F).

Example:  On December 1, 2007, Candidate X spends $500 of her own personal funds to purchase political advertising signs.  She reports the expenditure to the vendor on Schedule G and checks the box to indicate that reimbursement is intended.  One year later, Candidate X reimburses herself from political contributions.  She reports the reimbursement on Schedule F.  Candidate X is the payee and the purpose of the expenditure is to reimburse herself for a political expenditure made from personal funds on December 1, 2007.

We stress that if you intend to seek reimbursement from political contributions for a political expenditure of any amount made from personal funds, you must itemize the expenditure on Schedule G.  Even if you do not intend to seek reimbursement from political contributions for a political expenditure made out of personal funds, you must nonetheless itemize the expenditure on Schedule G if the expenditure exceeds $50 or if the expenditure along with other expenditures to the same person exceeds $50. 

Method #2: Report the political expenditures made from your personal funds as a loan to your campaign on the “Loans” schedule (Schedule E).  Next, report the political expenditures made from that loan on the “Political Expenditures” schedule (Schedule F).  Remember, the amount you report as a loan in a reporting period may NOT exceed the amount you actually spent from personal funds in that reporting period.  In other words, do not report a $100,000 loan to your campaign if the amount actually spent from personal funds in the reporting period was $5,000.  When you reimburse yourself, which could be months or years later, report the reimbursement on the Schedule F.

Example:  In one reporting period, Candidate Y spends $5,000 of his own personal funds to purchase political advertising materials.  He spends $3,000 at Home Depot and $2,000 at Office Max.  He reports the expenditures as a $5,000 loan on Schedule E and then itemizes each of the two expenditures as a political expenditure on Schedule F. A year later, Candidate Y reimburses himself from political contributions.  He reports the reimbursement on Schedule F.  The payee in this instance is Candidate Y and the purpose of the expenditure is to reimburse himself for political expenditure made from personal funds reported as a loan.

4:01 pm Sept. 23, 2010 (responding on whether Birdwell ever said he wouldn't take lobby contributions himself):

The criticism during the campaign focused on the fact that his opponent was a lobbyist, and that as a lobbyist his opponent had made numerous contributions to liberal Democrats - including Jim Dunnam in Waco.  That was a legitimate campaign issue as it presented a stark contrast to voters.  The source of campaign funding was also front and center because Col. Birdwell had a large number of small, grass roots, in-district donors that were supporting him, far more than his opponent.  For example, after the June 14 report, the campaign announced that we had 275 in-district donors, compared to less than 50 for Mr. Sibley on that same report.